By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
A District man charged with killing three men in the city's Trinidad neighborhood was ordered held without bond yesterday by a D.C. Superior Court judge.
Williams McCorkle, 22, of the 1300 block of Trinidad Avenue NE, is accused of killing Duane Hough, Johnny Jeter and Anthony Mincey in a fusillade of bullets May 31.
They were among seven people who died in a nine-hour surge of violence on one of the summer's bloodiest weekends that prompted police to set up checkpoints in Trinidad.
McCorkle was charged with first-degree murder while armed, to which he pleaded not guilty.
A resident of the Trinidad area for 10 years, McCorkle was identified by two of five witnesses who came forward, prosecutors said.
Earlier yesterday, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and dozens of uniformed D.C. police officers gathered at the corner of Benning and Bladensburg roads NE, blocks from where the shootings occurred, and praised community residents, who Lanier said worked with police to help make an arrest in the shooting.
"The arrest in this shooting is a reflection on how the community should work together with police," Fenty said.
Lanier said officers will distribute information packets to residents, which she said will help them reach police with information about crime.
Prosecutors said the May 31 shooting began when McCorkle argued with Hough and his two friends at a BP gas station at Florida Avenue NE and Holbrook Street NE. Moments later, Hough, 37, was shot and killed at the wheel of his GMC Yukon. Jeter and Mincey scrambled out and were gunned down on the sidewalk as they fled.
Prosecutors said .38-caliber shell casings were found.
According to prosecutors, two witnesses identified McCorkle as a shooter, and three other witnesses said they observed two shooters.
McCorkle's attorney, Maribeth Raffinan, said he should be released, if only to a halfway house, because of the conflicting witness accounts. Prosecutors said the different accounts were due to the witnesses' different vantage points.
Magistrate Judge Andrea L. Harnett said the case was full of "horrifying violence" and ordered McCorkle held at the D.C. jail until an Aug. 27 hearing.
McCorkle was convicted in 2006 of selling marijuana. As part of his three-year supervised parole, he was to undergo mental health evaluations but failed to show up for them in January this year, according to court records. In October 2007, McCorkle was placed on electronic monitoring, which was deactivated in July, court records show.
McCorkle's mother and other relatives were in the courtroom yesterday, as were family members of the victims. Hough's godmother, Michelle Brown, said she did not think Hough and McCorkle were acquainted.
Staff writer Paul Duggan contributed to this report.